Chinese electric vehicle start-up Nio files for US IPO

17 August, 2018, 04:59 | Author: Regina Silva
  • A Nio concept car on display during the Beijing Auto Show in April

NIO, the electric-vehicle (EV) maker backed by technology giant Tencent Holdings, of which Naspers owns just more than 30%, filed for a $1.8bn initial public offering (IPO), becoming the first Chinese auto maker to seek a listing in the United States as it gears up to compete with the likes of Tesla. Ltd and Kandi Technologies Group, are listed in the U.S., Nio's IPO would dwarf their presence on the stock exchange.

The Shanghai-based company used a placeholder amount of $1.8B in the offering filing.

As Elon Musk's plan to take Tesla private continues to dominate the news, Chinese electric-car startup Nio is planning to go public.

The Chinese company's move to sell shares in the U.S. comes at a time when Musk is busy setting up a gigafactory in Shanghai to tap a market where the government is promoting new-energy vehicles with incentives to buyers. Nio chiefs hope the figures will even out as it delivers more ES8s to customers, although rival electric brand Tesla has proven that achieving this is easier said than done.

The Chinese auto maker in late June began making deliveries of its first mass-produced electric vehicle, the ES8, after unveiling the $67,000 seven-seat SUV a year ago. The vehicle comes with a price tag of 448,000 yuan (US$65,000, RM266,290) before incentives.

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While other Chinese automakers, such as Great Wall Motor Co.

BY 2040, more than half of global new vehicle sales and a third of the planet's automobile fleet will be electric.

The company issued its filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission on August 13. Li will retain voting rights to the stock while NIO users will discuss and propose how to use "economic benefits from these shares, through certain mechanisms to be implemented in the future", he said.

Last November, the company, whose investors also include Hillhouse Capital Group and Sequoia Capital, raised more than $1 billion in its latest fundraising round, led by existing investor Tencent, valuing the firm at about $5 billion.

"NIO is just getting started early", said Yale Zhang, head of Shanghai-based consultancy Automotive Foresight of its IPO plans.

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